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Features

Friday, August 5, 2011
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS  Kathy Coonon Umberger of Lebanon stands at a parking lot near her home Sunday evening and displays a copy of the missing person poster issued by Tamaqua town council in 1937. Her brother, Jerome Coonon, mysteriously disappeared and was never seen again despite search attempts by state and local police and the FBI.

For the Coonon family, the answers never came.

Every tunnel was searched, every mine hole was scoured.

Every house, sewer, and swimming hole was scrutinized.

But local police, firemen and search teams couldn't find the missing Tamaqua boy.

State police were summoned. They couldn't find him, either. The FBI came to town. They, too, didn't find a clue.

Everyone came up empty - and there's probably a good reason why.

Friday, July 29, 2011
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Taking part in the 250th anniversary service were The Rev. David Pflieger, Lutheran 1966-72; The Rev. James Levan, who was raised and ordained at Jacob's, now at First Baptist of Slatington; Pastor Ruth Schaefer, daughter of the Rev. Clarence Rahn and wife of the Rev. Richard Schaefer; The Rev. Scott Shay, current pastor; The Rev. Ann Paynter, Lutheran 1985-86; and the Rev. Richard Solliday, UCC pastor, 1984-87.

"We thank you Lord God for brave and believing people who planted your message in this place."

Call to Worship, Homecoming, May 22, 2011

The Church of the open doors,

The Church of the open Bible,

The Church of the open hand,

The Church of the open heart,

The Church open to the Spirit of the Living Christ.

The Rev. Richard Solliday, served 1984-1987

Friday, July 22, 2011
TN PHOTO ILLUSTRATION/DONALD R. SERFASS  Jerome Coonan mysteriously disappeared from his grandparents' backyard and was never seen again, a case that brought the FBI to Tamaqua. He had light colored hair and was wearing a wine-colored snow suit and white shoes.

Little Jerome Coonan always smiled - a happy-go-lucky toddler adored by everyone.

Then, on April 29, 1937, the little tyke wandered away from his grandparents' backyard and was never seen again.

His mysterious disappearance brought the FBI to the little town of Tamaqua and prompted the largest search ever conducted in the history of the community. The event caught the attention of the entire Eastern seaboard and put Tamaqua in the national spotlight for many weeks. The Jerome Coonan story captivated the imagination.

It remains a story without an ending.

Friday, July 15, 2011
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS  The Rev. Kevin Roberts, Tamaqua, endured a life-changing tragedy and now leads a grief recovery support group to help others find their way through their darkest days.

When you lose a loved one, the pain you feel inside is endless. It's an empty feeling that runs as deep as the soul.

It seems as if your world has been turned upside down. And in some ways, that's true. The spirit breaks and darkness set in. There is no replacing a spouse, soulmate, or a son, daughter, mother, father, or special friend.

The pain of loss can be unique to each person. It can reflect the closeness of your bond with the deceased, someone you knew well, perhaps someone who was the center of your life and the promise of the future.

Friday, July 15, 2011

GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of individuals who will walk alongside you through one of life's most difficult experiences. You don't have to go through the grieving process alone.

GriefShare groups are designed so that you can begin attending on any week and meet with others in a similar situation.

The seminars and support groups are led by people who understand what you are going through and want to help. Valuable Griefshare resources will help you recover from your loss and look forward to rebuilding your life.

Friday, July 8, 2011
The Northern Lehigh Community Band provided music for the Heritage Day program sponsored by the Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce.

Lots of music and an excellent speaker made the Heritage Day program sponsored by the Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce an exciting, patriotic day. The program was held July 4 in First Baptist Church, Slatington.

The Northern Lehigh Community Band played three selections as people were being seated. They were "Gallant Heroes," "Liberty Bell," and "El Capitan." Ted Steinbrecher is the director.

Friday, July 1, 2011
Four flags were flying at the main intersection of Millbrook Village. They include a Massachusetts (yellow) "Don't Tread on Me" flag, a Liberty flag, a U.S. Army flag and the 13-star American flag.

Flags and bunting turned Millbrook Village's old houses into a colorful panorama as the village celebrated Independence Day. Millbrook is part of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

On a corner, a set of four flags includes the yellow Don't Tread on Me flag of Massachusetts, a blue Liberty flag, a United States Army flag and the 13-star United States flag.

Sue Grove, who is with the National Park Service, said the celebration is like a 19th century event when Independence Day was a big deal in small towns.

Saturday, June 25, 2011
At the Visitor Center at Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Farmington, Pennsylvania, the story is told how a young George Washington led a regiment of Virginia frontiersmen into a skirmish with French troops that escalated into the French and Indian War.

In the rural southwestern corner of Pennsylvania, about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, but much closer to the Maryland and West Virginia borders, is a site where George Washington surrendered, started the first world war, and sowed the seeds of the American Revolution.

Friday, June 24, 2011
Town named for teen

Before the 1850s, Eckley wasn't a mining town, but a rural, forested community called Shingletown. It was located on land owned by the Tench Coxe Estate. The inhabitants took advantage of the surrounding woodlands and made shingles to be sold in White Haven and Hazleton. The goods were traded for the necessities, such as "whiskey, port, and tobacco."

Friday, June 24, 2011
Bob Vybrenner, Tamaqua, and Mary Theresa Belusko, Eckley, volunteer in support of Eckley Miners Village, a living museum operated by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Eckley almost ceased to exist two years ago at the age of 155.

But just like the miners who defined the town's existence, Eckley has re-emerged.

It's a town that refuses to give up.

"It needs to be here," says George Keifer, part-time employee of Eckley Miners' Village. "It needs to remain because of everything it stands for."

Eckley is an anthracite coal mining patch town located in Luzerne County, just 20 miles north of Tamaqua, Jim Thorpe and Lehighton. Since 1970, it has been owned and operated as a museum by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.